My Most-Deeply Moving Gift for 2015

My Most-Deeply Moving Gift for 2015

My Most-Deeply Moving Gift for 2015

I received a wonderful surprise in the mail from my 94-year-old aunt by adoption. My aunt gave me a replacement copy of a cherished book that she had randomly sent me as a gift back when I was a teenager. Her words from the heart in a hand-written letter on the inside cover mean the world to me. I truly believe I missed out on knowing this kind and loving woman as part of my family.

I have fond memories of my aunt from back when I was a child and I stayed with her “big” family through the difficult times in my adoptive mother and first adoptive father’s tumultuous marriage. I am grateful that my mother’s four sisters and my grandmother had at one time been “anchors” in my confusing childhood that was filled with turmoil and many mixed messages. Unfortunately, after my parents’ divorce and my mother’s remarriage, I hardly ever saw my relatives again.

Our family lived two states away from the rest of our relatives and because we did not share in their religious beliefs we became the “black sheep family.” Over the years, I could only guess that this must have influenced/changed the way all of my aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins felt about me. Through my eyes, I thought it made me even more of an outsider because, in addition to all of this, I was also adopted.

Years ago, strangely, my parents refused to tell me why I didn’t have a birth certificate. While searching for answers to their disturbing silence, disappointedly, I ran into a never-ending trail of deception that began after I had been placed for adoption at birth. As it turned out, I discovered that my only birth certificate on file still listed me technically as my birth mother’s child. Judges in three different states where I had lived during my lifetime kept giving me sealed, incomplete courts records. Feeling betrayed under the disguise of adoption, I couldn’t find anyone to help me make sense out of all the lies and secrets.

I had no plans initially to try and locate my birth family, but I found myself needing to find my birth mother at that point, in hopes that she might be the one person that would keep it real with me. Sadly, I learned that my mother had been deceased since I was a little girl. Contacting my three birth siblings couldn’t fill the void in my heart either; my disruption only brought up old wounds.
The valuable lesson I’ve learned in my journey is to take the time to listen to those stories without happy endings and to listen without passing judgement.

My aunt’s uplifting letter in my replacement book amazingly spoke to the core of who I proudly am and how I choose to live my life, despite the losses and disappointments. Through my tears, I again see her as that anchor as I’ve struggled over the years with feeling worthy of being loved as someone’s niece, daughter, sister, granddaughter and cousin. Thank you for reconnecting with me my loving aunt and for having been such a positive role model in my life.

Your niece,
JoAnne

“God appreciates how you are using your gift and talents to make a difference in the world. You are my precious niece and I love you dearly.”

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  1. So sad, what a terrible experience. and I know it was only one of many for you. Love you friend!!!
  2. This fills me with sadness: “No child should have to continually try to make a parent love them.” What a tragedy that your mother was not able to accept love from you. My guess is that deep down, she didn’t feel lovable, and she had to cover that shameful fact up with a bunch of br…
  3. It’s insane that these findings were made but nothing was done about it. All these years later, you are still waiting for the wrongs to be righted.
  4. I love you❤
  5. I hope you are able to find more on the first chapters of your life. How twisty things became when people had to hide things…ugh. Sad.